The Championship Run-in- Who will face relegation?
The Championship, it goes without saying, it is one of the best leagues in Europe, certainly one of the most competitive. It is almost an impossible task every summer to contemplate will get promoted and whilst the relegation side of things you can go somewhat to guess who will be down there, this season like many others there are some surprises.
So who is in the run-in? And who will avoid the drop?
Here we have the bottom seven teams in the Championship all very much in danger of going down. Below we will analyse each teams chances and whether they will avoid relegation or go down.
Hull City (Avoid)
The Tigers have had a miserable campaign in their return to the Championship and lost a crucial relegation battle against Birmingham City going down 3-0 to the Blues.
They by no means have an easy run-in either with Wolves, QPR, Burton Albion, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, Cardiff City and Brentford all to play, three of which are in the top six.
I still believe Hull, under the guidance of Nigel Adkins, have the ability to stay afloat this season. By the skin of their teeth that is.
It hasn’t been great for Bolton at times.
It looked to be certain relegation for them earlier on in the season but they’ve managed to grind out results here and there and find themselves out of the relegation zone and six points clear.
Bolton’s run-in includes crucial games against Birmingham, Burton and Barnsley which could all be deciding games.
Their win however against Aston Villa gives me the confidence they will be able to get results here and there that just about keeps them afloat.
I think Reading are in for a very difficult test to stay in this division and have sacked Jaap Stam at a bizarre time which is absolutely incredible given they were in the playoff final last season. But that’s the Championship for you.
I see Reading just about surviving this season but by no means will it be easy.
The Royals face Aston Villa, Preston and Fulham in their next four games who are all challenging for the playoffs and then have Sunderland and Sheffield Wednesday following that so it will be a big ask.
For me, Barnsley don’t quite have the experience and depth in their squad to be able to avoid the drop this season.
They have been a very unlucky team Barnsley, they have been high up in the Championship previously but seen key players leave and not replaced.
To top it off this season they’re manager Paul Heckingbottom signs a new contract then joins Leeds United a matter of days later.
In reality there is no easy game in the Championship and I do struggle to see where Barnsley will pick up a great deal of points from now to May.
Birmingham City (Avoid)
Blues fans know all about dramatic season endings when it comes to staying in the Championship and my gut feeling is that this could be another one of those.
They appointed a manager with a lot of potential in Garry Monk and I feel he will be able keep them up.
There is enough quality in Birmimgham’s squad to suggest they can get results in a team which has really underachieved.
I’m not saying Blues would have been contenders, but there’s no doubt they should have been better off than they had.
Burton Albion (Relagted)
I’ve got to be honest, I would love Burton to stay up.
They did tremendously well to keep themselves up last season but this year was always going to be the biggest challenge.
I just can’t seem to see too many games where they’re going to be able to grind points out.
And last but not least we of course have to relegate Sunderland.
They aren’t showing many signs of improvement certainly not the extent that will be needed to keep them up.
Their run-in starts with a trip away to Derby and includes trips away to Leeds and Fulham and then a conclusion at home to Wolves.
The squad spirit and chemistry just hasn’t been there this season and it’s become more and more likely we will be seeing Sunderland in League One next year.
FINAL TABLE PREDICITION: